In its meeting on Friday, November 10, the city council decided that the Opera on Willy-Brandt-Platz will be rebuilt on its own land. It is the largest cultural building in the overall Future of the Municipal Theatres project and will secure Willy-Brandt-Platz as a cultural location for the next century. "This commitment to the stages in the city center will enrich Frankfurt in the long term, enhance the city center and make it even more attractive in the long term," says Ina Hartwig, Head of the Department of Culture and Science. "I would like to expressly thank the coalition partners for their good, constructive cooperation." This decision marks a first milestone in the major stage project. The decision is subject to approval by the city council.
In addition, detailed negotiations for the cultural mile with Hessische Landesbank (Helaba) and Sparkasse are to be initiated, based on the "Memorandum of Understanding" signed by Helaba, Sparkasse and the city in summer 2023. The aim of the negotiations is to present a final negotiated leasehold contract to the city councillors for a decision.
The cultural mile envisages that the new theater on Neue Mainzer Straße can be built on a plot of land measuring around 5500 square meters to the north of the Japan Center. Between the new theater and the Japan Center, an open space of around 700 square meters is also to be created. In future, it will connect Neue Mainzer Strasse with the Anlagenring. A new ensemble of buildings can be developed between the new theatre and the Central Business Tower, which is currently under construction, consisting of listed villas, a new high-rise building around 160 meters high and connecting plinth buildings.
In addition, the storage and logistics center for the stages, which will be necessary in any case, is to be built. This will create the infrastructure for both theatres and, for the first time, bring together in one place what is currently stored in different locations across the city (including the fundus and stage sets). For this sub-project, the city councillors are to commission the city council with the concrete search for a location and preparations for implementation. Available plots of land are already being sought, secured and developed.
The search for a specific location for a theater interior is also to begin. This will be necessary in any case. If the negotiations now beginning with Helaba and Sparkasse on the implementation of the Kulturmeile are successful, but also in the event that the mirror variant is implemented, the opera can play in the newly built theater until the new opera house on Willy-Brandt-Platz is completed. Only in the case of the new construction of a double facility would an interim home for the opera have to be found. The decision also initiates preparations for public participation.
"It is urgently necessary that we now move forward together in a solution-oriented manner, have a stable timetable and implement and tackle central project components directly. The desolate state of the double theater facility on Willy-Brandt-Platz leaves us with no other option. We are lucky that the theater has not had to cancel any performances so far. The employees of the theaters are working hard every single day. We must be more than grateful for this," summarizes Hartwig.
The model of the cultural mile is on display in the freely accessible area of the Historical Museum until the end of the year and can be viewed during opening hours.